A Woolton man has been jailed for seven years for possessing indecent images of children and voyeurism.
Graham Patterson, 28, from Beechill Close, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment at Liverpool Crown Court today, Tuesday 2 August.
Patterson was charged with 14 counts of taking, producing and distributing indecent images of children and two charges of incitement following an extensive investigation, which was referred to the Matrix Cyber Investigation team by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) in December 2014.
During the investigation, it was established that Patterson possessed indecent images of children, and had additionally contacted numerous girls through social networking sites, inciting some of them to commit sexual acts on camera.
As a result of the investigation, safeguarding measures have been put in place for 44 UK children and a further 38 children have been referred to Law Enforcement agencies throughout the UK and USA by CEOP, meaning a total of 82 potential victims will have been protected from further harm.
Detective Inspector Paul Mann from Matrix Cyber Investigations said:
This complex and distressing case shows that children can be vulnerable to the most serious acts of organised grooming when they connect to online social networks. Adding or following anyone you don't know online is a risk and in cases like these, the results can be devastating for victims and their families. People often give false information online, for a variety of reasons, and people young and old should always be cautious before linking to any strangers. You can leave yourself vulnerable to numerous offences, including grooming, fraud and identity theft. Merseyside Police is committed to child safety and our specially trained officers will thoroughly investigate all reports of grooming and inappropriate contact. I would like to take this opportunity to reassure anyone who has suffered a sexual offence that if you can find the courage to come forward and speak to us, we will treat you with sensitivity and compassion." We have identify a number of victims using new techniques, which will ensure that future investigations of this nature can be successful and offenders will be caught and prosecuted. Parents, schools and children will all find invaluable tips on keeping safe online at http://www.parentinfo.org/, run by CEOP and Parent Zone. Parents and schools can sign up to this free service, which feeds into your school's website. You will learn about protecting children from online approaches from strangers, whether to share pictures of children online, and a wealth of other useful information.